Bohemian Rhapsody celebrated a HUGE night at the Oscars, taking home four out of the five awards it was nominated for. Another surprise surrounding the incredible film came through social media earlier today as China announced Bohemian Rhapsody would be hitting theaters.
It’s quite a shock considering the country’s repressive stance on LGBTQ content, especially after a local streaming station censored parts of Rami Malek’s Oscars speech.
The Freddie Mercury biopic is set to have a limited release starting March 22, approved through China’s National Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas.
Not much has been mentioned on whether or not the film will run uncensored, with some fans expressing concern that a lot of content would be cut from the movie.
However, a source tells the Hollywood Reporter, “that at least one minute of cuts will be made to the film, removing portrayals of drug use and several intimate kisses between Malek’s Mercury and other male characters.”
News of the film’s limited release comes shortly after some major backlash when one of just two sites in China that live-streamed the Oscars ended up censoring Malek’s acceptance speech.
“We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant who lived his life just unapologetically himself,” Malek said about Mercury.
In a heartfelt speech, Oscar winner Rami Malek praises his mom, says he knows his dad is looking down on him, thanks Queen, and says the world "is longing for stories" about people being "unapologetically" themselves.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 25, 2019
Mango TV, which is considered one of China’s most popular channels, substituted “special group” for “gay man” in the translated subtitles.
Fans were outraged as a screenshot of the subtitle change made its rounds over social media.
And this isn’t the first time the station has come under fire. Just last year Mango TV received intense criticism for refusing to air an Irish music video where male dancers were holding hands. They also reportedly blurred out rainbow flags.
However, the country’s ban and restriction on what they deem as “sensitive content” has proven to be inconsistent.
Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast was allowed to run uncut and uncensored in cinemas in 2017, despite the widely discussed “gay moment” between LeFou and Gaston.
What are your thoughts on China showing a “censored” version of the film? Sound off in the comments below!